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Auto Insurance, Important Things to Know Before You Buy

Mar 12, 2008
Buying automotive insurance can seem to be an intimidating process. There are so many factors that can either increase the cost, or lower it. This guide is meant to show you just a few points that you should take into consideration before you sign your name on the dotted line.

The first and most important step you should take when buying auto insurance is to compare the prices offered by at least several different companies. While it is true that having some issues on your driving record or a credit history that isn't the greatest will raise the cost of your insurance rates, it is still possible to find an insurance company that will keep the cost at an affordable level.

The second step upon your auto insurance journey, is learning to understand the complicated jargon used in most insurance forms and policies. Knowing what these words and terms mean will also help you understand which type of coverage you actually need, and which ones are simply not necessary in your specific situation.

-> Actual Cash Value - The actual cost to replace the vehicle, the value left after subtracting how much it has depreciated from the purchase date.-> Benefit - The amount the insurance company pays you when you file a claim.-> Claim - The request you submit for reimbursement of a loss.-> Deductable - The amount of money you agree to cover in the event of an accident. Higher deductibles may lower your premiums, but they also lower your benefits if you are found to be at fault in the event of an accident.-> Premium- The fee you pay the insurance company for providing the coverage, usually made quarterly, or yearly.-> Endorsements - Any changes made to the policy, such as a different or a new driver, or changes to the costs of the premiums or deductibles.-> Exclusions - Any item or situation not included in your coverage.-> Limits- The minimum and maximum amount that your insurance company will pay out to cover your losses.-> Indemnity - A standard amount the insurance company will pay you for any covered loss.-> SR-22 - The legal document required to show proof of financial responsibility in the case of any traffic accident or violation.-> Comprehensive - The coverage provided for the policyholder for damage resulting from incidents other than vehicle accident. For example; fire, flood, theft, and extenuating acts, such as riot, falling objects, and explosion.-> Indemnity - A standard amount the insurance company will pay you for any covered loss.-> Full coverage - This means that your policy meets all of the minimum requirements of your state of residence.-> Collision - The coverage provided for damage resulting in the case of hitting another vehicle.-> Bodily Injury Liability - The provided payment of medical expenses to any person injured in an accident that you are deemed responsible for.-> Property Damage Liability - The coverage provided for any damage you cause to property belonging to someone else.-> No-Fault Insurance - An agreement that states that no blame be designated to either party involved in the accident in order for the policyholder to receive their benefits.

Now that you are armed with knowledge of the basic concepts specified in an insurance policy, you are ready to take the third step. This would be, making a decision about which type of coverage you feel that you need. Important factors to consider are your driving history, your age, the area where you live, and what type of automobile you own. When speaking with insurance company representatives from insurance companies, be honest about these matters.
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Things to Know Before You Buy
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